Sunday, 19 September 2010

Is Bigger Better?

Barbie Nurse came visiting yesterday with her new love interest - a 1980s VW camper! This came complete with its original instruction manual in which a lady with big hair demonstrates the van's delights alongside her moustachied friend who no doubt epitomised masculine good looks during that era. Of course, I showed off my pride and joy, our lovely Knaus motorhome, but the difference in size of these vehicles has lead us to ponder the advantages and disadvantages of owning these different types of vehicle.

Let's start with the upsides of a little campervan.  It's small enough to be used as a second car and probably isn't as thirsty as its bigger brother, the motorhome, so is potentially much more economical to run and a bit nippier as well.  You're far less likely to get groans of disappointment from fellow motorists as you bimble along in front of them in one of these. Travelling down narrow lanes, say to a secluded cove is feasible, whereas even journeys down some of the more minor A roads can seem a bit hazardous in a motorhome.  Also those tricky height restrictions, for example on the entry to car parks, are much less of a problem with a small van whereas even the canopies over filling station forecourts can represent a tight squeeze for a type C van with its bulbous roof canopy.

The comparative luxury of a motorhome comes at a cost, both from a financial and 'freedom to roam' viewpoint.  Of course, what you get is heaps of extra space and in our van there is no need to convert the interior for different purposes at various times in the day.   Beds, tables and seating remains in fixed positions.  One of us doesn't have to head for the hills to cool off  after an argument either.  It's roomy enough to pull a curtain and  hide away until the storm's blown over.  I'm not sure if everyone would survive a blazing row during  a torrential downpour in a campervan!  Of course, there's the tiny matter of privacy and dignity too, an important consideration for those of us who work in the NHS.  We have a toilet cubicle whereas Barbie Nurse's loo is kept in a cupboard under her sink so can only used in the middle of the cab in an emergency.  The sheer horror of imagining  himself in this demeaning scenario, meant that our fastidious work colleague, Mr Metrosexual, was at the point of needing medical attention!

So take your pick, campervan or motorhome.  I can't even bring myself to mention the name of those nasty things that have to be towed.  For a start,  they can't be parked on the French 'Aire de Camping Car', and for that reason alone they can be discounted altogether!

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